Last night I fainted at a house party. It was for reasons that were medical, rather than alcohol-related (I’m 95% sure), but it still made me think about other times I’ve been the messy girl at the party.
I’ve been messy in the drunk sense, sure. Usually because I’m so socially anxious that I pick up a drink so I’ll have something to do with my hands and something to calm my nerves. I’ve been the girl who accepted too many shots of Jack or red plastic cups of spiked punch and started announcing “I’m so drunk!” through maniacal giggles to anyone who would listen. I’ve been the girl who tipsily flirted with people she shouldn’t have, went on too long about her obscure passions to people who may or may not have cared, or danced the Macarena to songs that were not the Macarena until the DJ finally gave in and played the Macarena.
I have also been a messy party girl in the emotional sense (though, let’s be real, usually this is exacerbated by alcohol in that case). I have cried on friends’ shoulders about recent heartbreaks, including heartbreaks involving people who were also at the party. I have needed to step onto the porch or balcony to collect myself in the chilly fresh air when an intractable crush or ex arrived with someone new on their arm. I have cried in the bathroom while subtweeting.
Being the messy girl at the party is inherently embarrassing, at least for me. It paradoxically can make you into the center of attention even when that’s not actually what you want, even when what you want more than anything is to shrink down until you disappear. It can make you feel like you need other people to take care of you, like you’re incapable of taking care of yourself. It can leave you with nothing but a hangover and some ill-advised text messages to remember the evening by. It can change people’s opinions of you, make people remember you as a kind of person you usually are not.